Obituary: John E. Kircher
John E. Kircher 2/18/1958 — 1/28/2023
John Everett Kircher, 64, of Big Sky, Montana, died peacefully on January 28, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. John remained brave, strong, and positive in his final days. He was surrounded by devoted friends and loving family members.
John married Kim Huleen Kircher, the love of his life, in 2005. They divided their time between mountains and surf, residing in two of John’s favorite places, Maui, Hawaii and Big Sky, Montana.
John was born to Everett Frank Kircher and Mary “Carol” Carolyn Reeves on February 18, 1958, in Petoskey, Michigan. John graduated from Boyne City High School, attended the University of Michigan, and later received a Business degree from Western Michigan University.
John was born to be a ski area operator. When John’s mother went into labor during a Northern Michigan snowstorm, Everett drove her to the hospital in a 1956 Tucker Sno Cat. John lived his first few years in the Main Lodge at the base of Boyne Mountain. He was selling lift tickets by age 12, and driving snow cats, making snow, and loading chairlifts all by 16.
John arrived in Big Sky Resort in 1981 beginning his long-time role as the General Manager. John would eventually manage four ski areas and become Boyne Resorts President of Western Operations. By 2007 he oversaw 1.75 million skier visits. In 2010 Cypress Mountain would host six events in the Winter Olympics under his management. John built numerous chair lifts, including the one-of-a-kind tram to Big Sky’s Lone Peak in 1995, and the first 8-passenger gondola in Washington state at Crystal Mountain.
While his career was peppered with big projects, it was his love of the sport and consideration of others that will be most remembered. Some would say he was the “kindest person they ever met.” He would think nothing of pulling a stranger’s car from a snowy ditch or listening intently to a customer’s complaints. John was a proud father, a devoted husband, a loving brother, and a loyal friend to many. He was a fantastic storyteller with the funniest one-liners imaginable.
John was a beautiful skier and a gifted athlete. His love for aviation took him all over the world, and also inspired his son, Andrew, to follow in his footsteps as a pilot. John craved adventure, and he loved nature whether surfing in Indonesia, ski touring in the Alps or fishing for tarpon from a houseboat in the Costa Rican jungle. John sucked the marrow out of life. He was spontaneous and could sweep others into his escapades with ease. John’s shenanigans might include turning the ski lifts on after hours for powder turns under the night lights, last minute trips to Alaska or Japan because, “it’s always snowing somewhere,” or launching a snowball battle royale forming teams and fortresses in the base area of the ski hill. He was loved by many and will be missed by all.
John was preceded in death by his father Everett, his mother Carol, and his stepmother Lois. John is survived by his wife Kim, son Andrew Kircher (Stephanie), daughter Evelyn Kircher, sister Amy Kircher Wright (Greg), sister Kathryn Kircher, brother Stephen Kircher (Molly) and several adoring nieces and nephews.
The memorial service will be held at Big Sky Chapel at noon on February 11, 2023. Seating is limited. A Celebration of Life will follow immediately at the Yellowstone Conference Center Ballroom.
Memorial gifts can be made in John’s name to Mayo Clinic at https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/johnkircher.
Condolences & memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.